Beginning this Saturday, California consumers who shop at Amazon.com will notice a big change when they go to the checkout page to pay for their orders: the online retailer will be collecting sales tax on their orders. California will become the eighth state in which the online giant is required to collect and remit sales tax. Based on legislation already enacted, Amazon will be collecting in a total of 14 states by January 2016, though that number is expected to grow as other states consider sales tax fairness laws. Amazon began collecting in Pennsylvania on September 1, 2012, and in Texas on July 1, 2012.
In September 2011, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a sales tax fairness bill that stipulated that Amazon must begin collecting and remitting sales tax to the state beginning September 15, 2012, unless federal sales tax fairness legislation was passed before then. While there are currently two bills under consideration in Congress — the Marketplace Equity Act (H.R. 3179) in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 1832) in the U.S. Senate, there is almost no chance that either will be passed before the deadline.
“The significance in Amazon.com collecting and remitting sales tax for orders in California cannot be understated,” said Oren Teicher, ABA CEO. “It is a huge victory for sales tax fairness, and for Main Street retailers. We are tremendously grateful to the leadership of Hut Landon, and to the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association, and Lenny Goldberg [executive director of the California Tax Reform Association] — and importantly, for the tireless outreach efforts of California booksellers — in achieving sales tax fairness in California. Indeed, our successes in the campaign for sales tax fairness are due, in large part, to the amazing advocacy efforts of independent booksellers throughout the country. And future success will hinge on the outreach of our members, as well.”
Teicher noted, “What many thought to be an impossibility only a few years ago is indeed becoming a reality as we inch ever-closer to passage of federal sales tax fairness legislation.”
Amazon.com will begin collecting and remitting sales tax in six additional states over the next four years: in New Jersey as of July 2013; Virginia in September 2013; Indiana, Nevada, and Tennessee as of January 2014; and in South Carolina as of January 2016.